Exercise and Socialize Your Dog at the High Sierra Dog Park
One of the best things about Billings is that there are so many parks to enjoy. Each one offers something different; each one is unique in its own way. There is a new park in Billings that offers a great option. It is the High Sierra Dog Park. Recently opened in the Billings Heights, this park offers an enclosed space for dogs of all breeds to run and play.
On October 15th, 2011 the Friends of Billings Dog Parks committee had the official grand opening. While many cities across the country have numerous dog parks, this is the first of its kind in Billings. The park took several years of planning, and several more years of fundraising, but eventually was able to be opened without any additional cost to the taxpayer (read the grand opening report on the Billings Gazette site).
The park, designed just for dogs to run and play includes an enclosed 7.5 acre “Big Dog” section. This area is partially an irrigated lawn where the dogs can play with each other, run with their owners, or play fetch. The other side is a more rustic agility course. With sandstone rock formations and taller grass, it is the perfect place to train a dog to maneuver off the beaten path. For those who have smaller dogs and are afraid they may be trampled (or perhaps their dog is shy around other dogs), the park also includes a separate fenced 1 acre section for them. Although every time I have visited the park this section is nearly empty, while all the dogs are playing together in the “Big Dog” section.
Finding the park is not difficult, although it is a bit out of the way for those who live on the West End. Take Wicks Lane just about as far west as you can go. Once past Harvest Church, a small white sign on the South side of the road points you down a dirt road. Just a few hundred yards down the parking lot is clearly visible, and the fenced in area easy to see.
The High Sierra Dog Park is a great place to let your dog get some exercise and build important social skills (yes, even dogs need to practice social skills). Allowing them to get some exercise in this setting will help them to grow and stay healthy. If you do go, make sure to take two minutes to read the sign at the entrance. It may be tempting to just let a dog do its business, especially in a park designed for them; but it is good manners to clean up after they have done their business. There are a number of garbage cans placed around the perimeter, and baggies provided for easy clean-up. Make sure to bring a jacket, the wind tends to always be worse at the park than anywhere else in town. The wind aside, a trip to the dog park can be the perfect time to relieve that afternoon boredom, and help keep our four-legged family members healthy and happy.